We have experience in organizing trips and guided tours in Palestine. The wife of Singer Cafe’s owner, Kristel, has studied history and tour guiding and has a tour guide diploma from the Bethlehem Bible College. She has fifteen years experience of living and working in Palestine and a lot of connections with local tour guides. Every week she produces a new episode of Stories from Palestine podcast. You can hear the podcast on your favorite podcast player or go to https://storiesfrompalestine.buzzsprout.com
She offers the option of tailor-made tours for individuals and small groups in her private seven seat car. Contact her to talk about your wishes, her availability, what to explore and how to organize logistics. Prices are fair and reasonable, depending on number of participants, time and distance and will generally range between 100 and 200 shekel per person. Listen to her podcast episodes and if you want to visit and meet any of the interviewed people, she can try to organize it, if they are available!
A few ideas for excursions (but more is possible and a combination of different locations can be discussed) :
- Bethlehem history, cultural and political tour: a mix of the history of the birthplace of Jesus, the life in Bethlehem today, strolling around the old city and meeting people and the political reality of military occupation. We can start from the Bethlehem checkpoint (pick up) to see the Wall and learn about its effect on people’s daily life, we can visit Aida refugee camp and see the impact of the creation of the State of Israel on the Palestinians. After a coffee break we continue to walk through Star Street, part of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Nativity Church and the pilgrims route. Besides learning about history, this is where we can meet local Palestinians, visit the market, drink tea or sahlab and explore the rich cultural heritage of Bethlehem. Of course we should go to the Nativity Church, the most important site in Bethlehem and an important part of its history and of the present. This takes about 4 hours and now it is time to eat lunch!
- Solomon’s pools, Artas and Battir: The main theme of this trip would be water! The Solomon’s pools were created more than 2000 years ago to collect water from different springs and from the rain, to lead that water through an aqueduct system to the city of Jerusalem. The pools have recently been renovated. Nearby is the village of Artas, mainly famous for the beautiful Convent of Artas where the Daughters of Mary Most Holy of the Garden take care of the Hortus Conclusus, a green sanctuary, thanks to the Artas spring. South west of Bethlehem is the UNESCO world heritage site of Battir, a beautiful Palestinian town that is famous for the springs that provide water to this agricultural community. The water of the spring is collected in a Roman pool and led through a system of water conduits to the terraces on the hill side. It serves eight family clans that get water from this spring and therefore it is said that the week in Battir has eight days. In Battir there is chance to drink coffee and eat lunch. For the lovers of hiking there is a 2 hours walking trail that goes back from Battir to Beit Jalla.
- The Desert a city: visit the Mar Saba Monastery and the Herodion fortress. On the way to Mar Saba you will also pass the Saint Theodosius Monastery and you can learn about the important history of the desert fathers in Palestine in the Jerusalem wilderness. Walk around the Monastery and envision the life of the hermits in the caves that you can still see until today. The hermits made the desert their home and dwelled in it. When visiting the fortress Herodion we see an example of trying to control the desert and the people living in the region. Commissioned by Herod the Great around 20 BC it is an amazing example of his great building activities and the site has a lot of important stories that are part of the long history of the land. From the top of Herodion you have amazing views over the eastern side of Bethlehem. Bring a lunch package or have lunch afterwards in Beit Sahour, the town of the Shepherds fields.
- Christian pilgrimage sites and today’s Christian Palestinian community: This would include an explanation about Rachel’s tomb (now unavailable to Palestinians because of the construction of the wall) and a visit to a Christian family surrounded by the wall on three sides. A visit to Mary’s well and the Catholic Shepherds Fields in Beit Sahour (we can try the Orthodox Shepherds fields as well, but be aware of dress code for women, long clothes) The Church of Nativity in Bethlehem and the Milk Grotto church where Mary is said to have fed baby Jesus. We will talk about the different denominations of the local Christian Palestinians (Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran, Syriac, Armenian and several others) and their relation to the land and the current political situation.
- Food and the culture of food
- Palestinian artists and musicians
- Reality tour with focus on the checkpoints, wall, settlements, refugee camps and logistics of military occupation and the effect on daily life.
We are proudly partners in HANTOURISM, Palestine’s community-based budget tour booking platform! Browse the platform to explore many alternative tours, activities & experiences all around Palestine.
Check out the website of the platform and browse through the options in the different parts of the Westbank and in Jerusalem. You will be guided by locals who are experts in their towns and cities and who want to give you the best experience for a reasonable price! Click here to visit the website of Hantourism.